It's been a long time since we last posted! JEEZ! Time flies! We've been working our butts off over here, but nothing is really "done" of the many projects we've been working on. We have made a ton of progress, so I wanted to share some of it with you!
My parents made a trip all the way to Ithaca to help us out with the bus. We put them to work as soon as they got here priming, sanding, painting, and sanding again to refinish our cabinets. Craig ever so kindly gave my dad a t-shirt to wear that said "Got wood?" When I told my dad he couldn't wear his new shirt out to dinner, he didn't quite understand why... See below...
Before and After of the Cabinets
Mistakes, soooo many mistakes, but hey! We're learning!
The Couch: Craig told me as soon as I cut the slats for the couch that they were too thin. I didn't listen, spent a week painting them, and Craig ever so patiently taught me how to use the nail gun to attach them. The minute we sat down, I looked at him and said it hurts my butt! I was telling him something he told me a week ago. "We're going to have to take it all apart," I said. He refrained from saying "I told you so," and I love him for that. Back to the drawing board. We're getting thicker material and we'll route the edges to make them curved so they don't stick up your butt.
The under bed storage: We built and tried to install the storage for under our bed. We were so close to being able to fit it under the bed but we were off by about 1/16 of an inch. We forgot to factor in the porch supports we used to secure the bed frame and when we went to push the unit in under the bed, it got stuck. There's no taking it apart because it is glued and nailed together. So, I spent over 5 hours trying to fix the issue. Some chiseling and Sawzall action got it under. It's not pretty, I can tell you that, but luckily, nobody will ever see it.
Building drawers: Drawers are simple, right?! WRONG! I couldn't believe how much time and effort went into building our drawers. They seem like such a simple thing. After building them, I read somewhere you should estimate about 8 hours per drawer to build. I wish I had read that before we started. I think that estimate was pretty accurate. We built 6 drawers and worked on them every weekend for about a month. From measuring, designing, shopping, cutting, polying (I think I made that word up), nailing, glueing, and finishing it's a LONGGGG and tedious process. Luckily, our friend Rachel came out to help us. She's meticulous, so this was a perfect job for her. Three drawers are for under the bed and 3 for the couch. We still need to finish installing them.
Our friend Hank, who owns Ithaca Ice Co. and a few trucks with the same engine came over and did an oil change for us. We've been so focused on building and have been ignoring caring for the engine which is of course, the most important part of the bus. 19 quarts of oil went in! WHEW - THANKS HANK!
Restoring Barn Wood
By far, the most fun and satisfying thing we've done yet was restoring this 100 year old barn wood. My friend Ellie and her husband Tyler bought an old farmhouse a few years ago. It came with a dilapidated barn full of treasures. She let us pick through and take what we wanted and we found some amazing stuff. We'll be using the wood as siding for walls and maybe some shelving pieces. A lot of people like the grey patina aged wood has, but I like the wood for the character and lines and wanted to restore it to it's natural color so it has a warmer feel. We rented a pressure washer from Home Depot to clean the wood (it was covered in raccoon poop) and from what we can tell, it came out beautifully. It's still out drying in the garage, but we're excited to see the final result. Talk about instant gratification, this stuff was gorgeous!
I just got back from a 2 week vacation with my family in Hawaii. It was an incredible and exhausting trip, but I'm ready to get back to work. We're hoping to hit the road by the end of July, so we have a lot ahead of us.
I left the bus with a friend to get it spray foamed while we were gone. I'll be picking it up and then it's time to get back to building. We'll be finishing all of the projects above we are working on and then moving on to installing solar and plumbing. I'm really nervous for these projects. They are entirely out of my comfort zone, but I've been reading and researching for months now and I feel like I have a better grasp on it. Wish us luck!
Hey there! I'm Karli
I bought a bus in October 2015 and have been working on converting it since with the help of my boyfriend Craig. We don't have any timeline for the project. We are working on it when we can and hope to get on the road someday for a grand adventure! I'll be blogging about the process along the way and sharing the details of our successes and failures to help future skoolie builders!